The Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve (NHR), created by Congress in 1978, is one of just a few places where much of the Northwest’s history is still evident on the landscape, appearing to today’s visitors much as it did a century ago. One hundred year-old farms are still active; forests are harvested; century-old buildings still serve as homes or businesses.
Most of the land within Ebey’s NHR is privately owned, including its farms, shops, and homes. The historic waterfront town of Coupeville, located within the Reserve boundary, still serves as the county seat. In the mid-1970s, most of Ebey’s prairie was subdivided into 5-acre house lots. Coupeville residents were torn over the prospect of losing the agricultural landscape, historic sites, and open space. They chose to support a new Reserve to preserve these values.
Unlike most National Parks, the 25 square mile Reserve mixes federal, state, county, and private property, all managed to preserve their historic integrity. Changes in the cultural landscape will continue but in a way that respects the past. Ebey’s partners are responsible for retaining the historic fabric; a Trust Board appointed from the community governs the Reserve. A Citizen’s Advisory Committee advises the Board. Local government uses zoning and design reviews to ensure that future growth is in keeping with the historic buildings and the landscapes that make Ebey’s Landing unique.